From the Archives

ALL PODCASTS

Song of Zazen

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Song of Zazen
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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic and Dharma Holder

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 01/29/2023

From Zen Master Hakuin: “Song of Zazen”

At the conclusion to our New Year’s sesshin, Mn. Gokan explores “Song of Zazen,” an 18th century poem by Master Hakuin Ekaku. This text has served as an inspirational touchstone for generations of practitioners and is even chanted at some Zen temples as part of their daily liturgy. “The gateway to freedom,” Hakuin promises, “is zazen samadhi.” Gokan encourages us to develop “enthusiasm for meeting the rigors of practice” with a “joyful effort.” He summarizes that effort—and Hakuin’s intent—with the following prescription: “Don’t grasp, don’t crave, don’t push away, relax the mind, stop fighting with yourself; be gentle.”

 

Yaza

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Yaza
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Robert Rakusan Ricci, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Thursday 01/26/2023

Acting with reverence and devotion, acting with faith, with a willingness to be open to whatever arises in our experience… Is this all prayer? Inspired by a Ken McLeod essay, “Where the Thinking Stops”, and drawing on a song of Leonard Cohen, “Lady Midnight”, and the teachings of the mystics, Rakusan encourages us to keep going above and beyond ourselves and see how and where prayer fills our lives.

 

 

Cultivating Faith – Part One

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Cultivating Faith - Part One
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Wednesday 01/25/2023

From The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana (traditionally attributed to Asvaghosa)

What does Faith mean and what does it encompass in our Buddhist tradition? In this 3-part series, based on this text, Shugen Roshi talks about the Aspiration to Awakening Through Faith and it’s many aspects which are the essentials of Buddhist teachings and practices.

 

Monastic Ordination for Jogo Kien Martin

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Monastic Ordination for Jogo Kien Martin
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 01/22/2023

On this auspicious day, Shugen Roshi officiated the shukke tokudo ceremony for Jeffrey Kien Martin. Tokudo marks the formal taking of monastic vows and, in our tradition, expresses a lifetime commitment to the Monastery. Kien was given the monastic name Jogo, the meaning of which Shugen Roshi beautifully explains near the end of the ceremony. In short, it can be interpreted as “Steady Strength.”

 

Attack Forces of Evil, Not Persons Doing Evil

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Attack Forces of Evil, Not Persons Doing Evil
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Degna Chikei Levister, MRO Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, Fire Lotus Temple, Sunday 01/15/2023

This talk is part of a special Sunday morning program commemorating the life and teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Fire Lotus Temple and Zen Mountain Monastery.

Senior student Degna Chikei Levister draws from Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and gives voice to his compassionate, courageous words and actions. Chikei connects Dr. King’s teachings to Buddhist teachings, expanding on his lived message to “attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil” when addressing racism and other forms of oppression.

 

The Hands and Eyes of Great Compassion

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Hands and Eyes of Great Compassion
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 01/08/2023

From Master Dogen’s 300 Koan Shobogenzo (The True Dharma Eye), Case 105 – “The Hands and Eyes of Great Compassion”

In this New Year’s season of reflections and resolutions, Shugen Roshi encourages us to turn our attention toward the great Bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara, and to look incisively into how they operate within our own lives.

 

Breath Breathing Human Being

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Breath Breathing Human Being
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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, Fire Lotus Temple, Sunday 01/08/2023

Hojin Sensei speaks about the simple and profound practice of breathing. The breath, she shares, brings us into the body and into the present, gradually unifying body and mind.

 

Fusatsu: Kindness, Vows and Perfect Wisdom

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Fusatsu: Kindness, Vows and Perfect Wisdom
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Saturday, New Year’s Eve 12/31/2022

Teisho during the Rohatsu Sesshin Fusatsu Ceremony

Shugen Roshi reflects on the vitality of actualized vows in the context of the Paramitas, and urges us to recognize and nurture the basic quality of kindness in our intentions and actions.

 

New Year’s Eve Fusatsu: A Vow-Powered Life

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
New Year's Eve Fusatsu: A Vow-Powered Life
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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, Fire Lotus Temple, Saturday, New Year’s Eve 12/31/2022

Dharma Talk during the New Year’s Eve Fusatsu Ceremony

Hojin Sensei welcomes in the new year with a Fusatsu at Fire Lotus Temple. She invokes the power of vows and the importance of choosing them well.

 

The Whole Body of Wisdom

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Whole Body of Wisdom
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Friday 12/30/2022

From the Book of Serenity, Case 67 – The Flower Ornament Scripture’s “Wisdom”

Shugen Roshi talks about the Scriptures as the Body of Wisdom. That’s not simply a metaphor; that’s the wisdom of direct experience over the ages. Each and every one of us are intimately included in that living body. We make it whole.